Angelo Gasca, a familiar opponent, and Kelly Loftus, a relatively new one, will be the coaches who’ll confront Samohi on the second and third weeks of the 2008 football season. After opening at Leuzinger in the South Bay, Samohi will play Westside teams from the L.A. City Section.
Venice has beaten Samohi six straight years. Palisades has struggled in recent seasons and lost to Samohi at Corsair Field last season, 35-0.
Gasca, a former quarterback at Venice High and Santa Monica College, heads one of the strongest programs in the L.A. City ranks. Although Venice has never won a City championship, it has come close several times. When current Buffalo Bills quarterback J. P. Losman played for Venice, the Gondoliers reached the semi-finals of the L.A. City playoffs before losing.
Venice was powerful again last season but fell short in a playoff defeat despite the presence of Curtis McNeal, who is now a freshman at USC. McNeal’s interception brought on a high profile victory over perennial CIF power Oaks Christian in an early season non-league game.
Loftus was in his first season at Palisades last season when the Dolphins were overpowered by Samohi. Pali had opened with a victory over Hollywood High, the same opponent it will face in this season’s first game.
Palisades, which installed artificial turf last season, will play seven home games this season. The Dolphins have a new quarterback, sophomore Conner Preston.